mamas exploring bisexuality while in relationship(s) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 108 Old 06-04-2003, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok, vis a vis the bi mama roll call and my long confessional post, I am starting this thread.

this is a place to talk about navigating bisexuality as a mama and a partner in a relationship.

I am still trying to figure this situation out, having become a wife in november (after some relationship drama with now husband), and a mama in march, but still feeling that I ID as a bisexual woman, and I would truly enjoy getting to explore.

please share your experiences!

-Lau
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#2 of 108 Old 06-04-2003, 11:40 PM
 
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OK, here is my story.
I was curious about the bi side of my sexuality since I was a teenager, but I never acted on it. I felt that society said it was a no-no, so it must be. I opted to supress my desires/feelings to "fit in" to mainstream thinking. (OK, I did kiss my best friend a few times, but it was always a joking kinda thing, in front of our boyfriends) Three years ago, after some deep soul searching I decided that I could "deny" myself no more. Being married (for 5 years at that time) it was not an option to just go out and explore. So I approached my DH about something we had talked on and off about for some time; opening up our relationship. We talked about it for quite some time, with me explaining my "new" realizations (ie, that I did not want to hide my attraction to women anymore) to him. We came to the decision that we would open our marriage (yup, we are poly) and this would be a facet of myself that I would explore through this new relationship. And in the last three years, I have done just that.
Since we have kids, we are very careful about how we go about our lives. I am not ashamed of our lives, but I do not want to confuse them or make it hard on them in any way. Other than one couple who we were involved with, the kids never really know about the other people we spend time with. In hindsight, I am sorry that they ever even knew them. Since we are no longer with them and there is no chance they will see them again (bad feelings there, a whole other story : ), I feel bad when they say they miss them.
As for me being bi, it has not changed anything between DH and I. He knows I love him and that I am sexually attracted to him. He is never jealous and is forever understanding of me wanting to be with another woman.
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#3 of 108 Old 06-04-2003, 11:42 PM
 
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I don't have any experience, I'm still negociating the whole thing. Dh and I have talked about it. He says that if he knows (no lying and not behind his back) that it wouldn't be cheating. He says that me being with other women aren't an issue for him. I have been honest with him about my feelings for a woman I know. We talk about it, he is very supportive. He says he is happy for me. Although other than flirting and talking about it nothing has actually happened with her. I'm just enjoying embracing this part of me that I ignored for so long.

My main concern is that I don't want anything to hurt my relationship with him. So far, it has only brought us closer. And the more I talk about her with him, the more I love him and less I feel the impulse to be with her. I don't know.

I'd love to hear from some that have BTDT. He and I have a very close and honest relationship. I've had "ooo bad idea" warnings from people. Mostly from bi or gay people that are married and chose to not explore their sexuality outside the relationship. I'm happy for them, but not sure where their warnings are really applicable since they haven't BTDT.
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#4 of 108 Old 06-04-2003, 11:59 PM
 
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I am personally in a similar situation as Nicke, except I was poly before I was married.

I have identified as queer since I hit puberty and actually dated more women than men in college. I also knew that I didn't want to chose one or the other - not that I was ever good at being with just one person. So thru research and an interesting talk with a psych prof visiting from another college I discoverd the concept of polyamory. REVELATION! I wasn't weird or unable to commit just capable of loving more than one person at a time.

Fast forward a few years, I meet my dh. Honestly wanted nothing to do with him - thought he was too vanilla (he proved me wrong, he's as bi as they come). After months of chasing me I finally said yes to a date, then another and another. Well - 3 years later and lots and lots of talking we married. That was just over 3 years ago.

I meet people who think poly and parenting don't mix and other that do, so... It's interesting.

All I can say to those that in the curious/talking stage - keep talking and talking and talking - negotiate guidelines and then renegotiate those guidelines.

My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.

 
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#5 of 108 Old 06-05-2003, 12:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Indigo73

All I can say to those that in the curious/talking stage - keep talking and talking and talking - negotiate guidelines and then renegotiate those guidelines.
You are right, this is very important. We had certain guidlines that we started out with. Things we were OK with and things we were not so OK with. Overtime we have found that these guidlines have changed. We have evolved as partners and lovers and need to re-evaluate them all the time. Communication is key to any relationship, but I find it is even more so when in a poly one.
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#6 of 108 Old 06-05-2003, 12:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Indigo73
REVELATION! I wasn't weird or unable to commit just capable of loving more than one person at a time.
Amen sista!

I often tell DH that I am one lucky woman. I get to love and be loved by more than one person. It doesn't get any better than that IMO.
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#7 of 108 Old 06-05-2003, 12:25 AM
 
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here's my BTDT story (prolly short, as i'm typing one-handed, baby in other arm).

dh & i have been married 8 yrs, together for 12 yrs. he knows i'm bi and was a huge part of helping me sort out my feelings before we got married, as i was really scared about what the feelings might mean (i.e. was i really a lesbian in denial? was getting married to a man a huge mistake?) he was endlessly supportive and loving and i realized i was not actually a lesbian, but truly bi (altho i do feel more attracted to women than men in general...i also knew in my heart that i loved dh and was attracted to him, so i just accepted that fact.)

about 6 years ago, i got to talking with a woman i'd been close friends with for over 5 years. i knew she was bi too. long story short, we realized an attraction to each other and asked our dh's how they would feel about her and i making love to each other (no involvement of the dh's in said sexual encounter was wanted by any of us). both men were really supportive so she and i had a date in san francisco one night. fancy dinner with (quite a bit of)wine and then we spent the night in a hotel downtown and made love. we went out walking in SF holding hands, and got lots of knowing, sweet, supportive looks from other gay couples (and straight one's, too... it's SF after all ) after that, we had sex i think on 3 or 4 other occassions (including one wonderful weekend away together at a hot springs).

although we talked about continuing to have sex with each other about once every year (always with full knowledge and consent from our dh's), we haven't been together sexually since i was about 8 mos. pregnant with dd, which was back in sept. 2000. now i have 2 kids and she has 1. perhaps we will get together again one day, but for now, our lives as mamas just take precedent (dh and i rarely have time/energy for sex these days )

there was little "fall-out" from having a friend become a sexual partner, prolly because we were unfailingly honest with each other and our dh's. and our #1 groundrule was that if our sexual relationship got in the way of or harmed our marriages IN ANY WAY we would never do it again. we both had the understanding that our marriages are our "primary" relationships and neither of us wanted to jeoprodize that. there was a time right after our first date that i got to feeling fed up with dh for whatever reason (just normal long term relationship stuff) & started to convince myself i was in love with her. but again, i talked it out with her and with dh and those feelings passed (actually, she and i would never work out as a couple for many reasons).

so that's wher i'm at. all in all, i'm really glad for the experience. i love my dh tremendously and we have a good solid relationship a beautiful love and a great friendship. and he is a wonderful father.so thats something i would never want to lose. he okayed sex with this one friend, but in general, i don't think he's okay with me going outside of our relationship regularly or with a number of different women, and honestly, i am totally against him going outside our relationship at all (and he's completyely not interesyed in doing that either).

so now i've typed a book. sorry! and all one-handed, too
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#8 of 108 Old 06-05-2003, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for sharing so far. I would like to share a little more of my story, but I will save that for tomarrow, as it is getting pretty late here.

I would also like to bring up some concerns, mostly about trust, b/c that has been a BIG issue in my relationship w/ my dh. and the more I think about it, has been a big issue with me for all my life (but I suppose that is part of what I need to work through, in being with him).

we have not been exploring our bisexuality at all, and I don't think we will be actively doing so for awhile, but it is an important part of me, and I already feel that so much of "original me" is underneath the mothering and wifing, that I want to make sure I don't forget about it, or let it go because it seems too much to deal with.

funny, just realized my sig line pays homage to a fabulous bi polyamorist. anais nin. well, she was kind of messed up, and never had to negotiate her sexuality with mamahood, but a cool lady none the less.

-Lau
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#9 of 108 Old 06-05-2003, 01:33 AM
 
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I thought I'd share my story too

I always had bi-sexual fantasies, but totally blew it off as "fantasies aren't something you neccisarily want" until me and a girlfriend got very very drunk one night (we were oh 17-18) and things ah, happened. We dated twice for a few months each time, but thats the only woman I've had a serious relationship with.

My Dh knew about my bisexuality when he met me. I never kept it from him because when I first met him (online) we had no thoughts of becoming serious, so we were both very open about ourselves (what were we going to loose?).

When we did start being sexual active with each other (dating happened later ) a few things happened within our group of friends while drinking/being silly... so while we fell in love with each other, being sexually open was just what was going on occasionally and it wasn't a big deal.

Since then we've laid down our rules, and gone over them until we were very very clear on things. We don't get intimate with anyone without both of us being there (but occasionally I have been intimate with a women with him just being an observer). We don't have other girl/boyfriends, but we are comfortable forming strong loving friendships with the people we are with (it closely resembles the kind of love you'd have for say, a best friend of 10 years... well thats the best I can describe it). I think I brought up rules and scenarios until my Dh was tired of us speaking about it :LOL But I wanted to be SURE of everything.

I would truly love to have the chance to have a MFF relationship, we have close friends who have a relationship like that and it works so well. However I know it would be VERY hard to find someone that we'd both be compatible with (and visa versa), and that it would be a LOT more work for all of us.

But we're very happy with how our relationship works out now as it is

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#10 of 108 Old 06-05-2003, 12:42 PM
 
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#11 of 108 Old 06-07-2003, 08:29 PM
 
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i have been reading this and it has peaked my curiosity. (not in a bad way ) i was wondering how this all works, i mean within a relationship. i guess there are some fairly obvious things that come to mind to a person like myself who idenifies themself as heterosexual so here goes:

what exactly do you (some of you use this word) mean by 'poly'? do you mean your husband has more than one wife (cannot do this legally but marriage is more than a peice of paper to) do you mean that you or both of you have more than one sexual partner?

what kind of problems can come up 'poly' marriage?

i'll understand if you're not interested in discussing these questions but if it'll make anyone more comfortable i don't mean anything by them other than curiosity
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#12 of 108 Old 06-07-2003, 11:03 PM
 
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Everyone makes their relationship work their own way. "Rules" that I have within my marriage (pertaining to relations with others) may not be the same as XXXX has, but it works for us. Just like XXXX's rules may not be for us. It is all about communication. To be able to tell your spouse/SO what your wants/needs/desires are and then to listen to theirs and find a way to incorporate them together. This lifestyle is not for everyone. Some people are not comfortable with it. That's fine. I know a few single friends who are not comfortable with marriage. We are all different. As long as we are honest with ourselve and others, that is all the matters.

As far as poly . . . that is short for polyamory.

The best way to describe polyamory is that it is a relationship style that involves an openness to be being involved with more than one person at the same time. Polyamory is about responsible non-monogamy. Polyamory is not about cheating, or dishonesty. Polyamory pre-supposes that all people involved consent to this arrangement, and are honest about what is going on. Polyamory is NOT swinging. There is a major distinction to be made between what is called "Swinging" and Polyamory. In swinging, the intent is to engage in non-monogamous sexual behavior without the development of love, affection or personal intimacy between oneself and the secondary partners. Swingers generally seek to engage in recreational sex without emotional intimacy. With polyamory, there is no such restriction, and the intent IS to allow such emotional intimacy to exist, develop, and grow between the people involved.
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#13 of 108 Old 06-08-2003, 12:55 AM
 
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interesting. correct me if i'm wrong here but based on what you are saying a 'poly' is like being married and being single at the same time. its like having the best of both worlds.

do you both take lovers seperately? i know this seems like a personal question for nicke but its a question open to anyone. sorry if it seems a forward question to ask. again, i'm just curious.
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#14 of 108 Old 06-08-2003, 01:17 AM
 
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ashes, i wouldn't say that being poly is like being married and single at the same time. it's more like being "married" to more than one person (in the emotional sense), i.e. being in an intimate relationship with your partner and your other partner. i'm not poly myself, so i'm sure others here will be more articulate in their responses.
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#15 of 108 Old 06-08-2003, 01:24 AM
 
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And we're a completely different story all together Not really poly, but not quite "swingers" either. We do form emotional attachments to our intimate friends, but not to the point of it being anything close to a secondary marriage type partner. So I am utterly clueless as to what I should even be calling us... :

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#16 of 108 Old 06-08-2003, 01:35 AM
 
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it seems as though poly cannot really mean multiple relationships equal to marriage since that's the definition of polygamy...unless there is no distintinction between the two. i do have a bit of trouble seeing the difference between swingers and 'poly' since swingers, i would think, can be every bit as intimate with their lovers as anyone else or simply choose not to be. sorta of going with the flow of what ever happens next. seems to me that the difference is more in degree than in intent. i mean, intamacy to some people is, quite simply, heavy panting, pushing, and groping. to others it is a relationship of commitment which can be between wife and husband, mother daughter, sister/sister in which sex is not a requisite. to others still intimacy encompasses that kind of closeness with sexual relations as well. however, the intent of both polygamous and polyamorous couples would seem to be the same. extra-marital (addintional to marraige if you prefer) sexual relations...just in varying degress of commitment. to me, its like the difference between saying something is hot or warm. hot to one can be warm to another and cool to yet another.

based on nicke's definition up there it would seem that bunny has a polygamous marriage, since the dgree to which they take their relationships is equal to the marriage itself, where as lisa seems to be in a ployamory marriage since the degree to which they take their extra-marital relations is 'less than' the marriage. i see little difference between them really so i can understand why some will indentify with 'poly' one way or another. again, i could be way off here.
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#17 of 108 Old 06-08-2003, 05:58 PM
 
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no ashes, the definition of polygamy is one person married to more than one person. i am certainly NOT polygamous, nor do i have relationships "equal" to that which i have with my dh.

in any case, i will speak for myself here, and i don't mean this to be rude, but this thread was not, intended to be a place for a "curious" onlooker to come and debate the definitions of polyamourous/polygamous, etc. i believe it was intended as a safe place for those of use who are bi and have had differeing experiences in our lives to share these experiences with each other. many of us do not feel the need to define ourselves and our relationships. we simply wanted to share with others who understand.

i, for one, am beginning to feel as though your questions are hijacking the intended purpose of this thread.
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#18 of 108 Old 06-08-2003, 07:21 PM
 
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my apologise. that was not my intent at all and i'm sorry you took it as that. i won't ask anymore questions.
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#19 of 108 Old 06-08-2003, 09:33 PM
 
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At a kid/teenager I thought I was likely a lesbian. All of my first sexual experiences were with other girls and all of my fantasys/attractions were to other girls (although I tried to play along with the whole het scene for a while). I met my dh in high school actually and started dating him right before I turnned 16 (I knnow this sounds crazy!). So, we have been togther 10 years now and have a 1 year old son. We have talked about sex outside the relationnship. He okayed it (in theory) and then when it started to take shape (I had a friend who was also interetsed and we where flirting pretty hard one night at a bar) he got scared and backed out (which was totally okay because our relationship comes first). He felt really scared, which I sort of can't blame him as I would never be okay with the reverse and I am really only attracted to womenn on the whole. He always jokes and says I am really a lesbian and he just got lucky that he got me when he did.

BUt, I really love dh and and very attracted to him (he is VERY femmey for a guy, though. Likes to wear skirts and paint him toe nnails and ALWAYS gets hit on my other men - which he LOVES, although he isn't interested really). So, that is us. Dh jokes that ds has a lesbian mom and a "faggoty-ass dad" who are passing as vanilla straight in the suburbs!

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#20 of 108 Old 06-17-2003, 04:47 AM
 
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I identified as lesbian from adolesence, then joined the Navy and the great abundance and availability of the opposite sex inspired me to experiment and I discovered that boys weren't so bad after all.

DH and I had a very clear understanding when we married that our relationship would not be sexually or emotionally exclusive. he is free to date other women (he's het), and I am free to date others regardless of gender. We were geographically separated the first couple of years of our marriage, but we always kept each other up-to-date on our love lives w/ honesty, and had ground rules about safe sex w/ others (as well as regular checkups). Now that we're under the same roof, we've been focused mostly on each other (particularly after a very sticky/bad ending rel that followed me home from Japan), especially w/ the baby on the way, but the future is still wide open.

Polyamory can imply having a primary relationship and secondary relationships (such as a spouse and less involved bf/gf type situations), or more than one relationship in various arrangements with the committment level of marriage (obviously not more than one legal marriage can take place). Triads are the most common of these, w/ either two people attached primarily to one person (a "V") and a platonic friendship/involvment w/ each other, or all three equally attached/involved w/ respect to sexual relationship and emotions.

It gets complicated, can you tell?

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#21 of 108 Old 06-17-2003, 07:44 PM
 
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I've only recently admitted to myself and my husband of ten years that I'm bisexual. I think I always knew it and the more I've thought about it the more I remember. I was seven when I had my first crush on a girl. At the time, I had no sexual knowledge but remember thinking even then I shouldn't tell anyone. My husband is surprisingly understanding and supportive. He thinks it's a great idea for me to explore these feelings. I've never had a sexual experience with a woman. I have however had very strong feelings for another woman. She knew, not the full extent of my feelings, but she knew. She couldn't get past my being married. And I understood, respected and accepted that. I don't know if I'll ever have such an experience. I'm happy and satisfied with my marriage and I don't feel like I'm really missing anything. But... at times I wish I could find a woman like myself. For the understanding and companionship. But this isn't exactly something I can bring up with the Mom's at the preschool. KWIM??
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#22 of 108 Old 06-17-2003, 07:59 PM
 
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i just popped on in here and didn't even bother to introduce myself. My name is Michelle and I'm a SAHM to six. Cody-10, Joshua-8, Brendan-5, Sydney-3 (only girl), Riley-2 and Logan-7 months. I live in PA, Philly burbs. And... well gee, my previous post said alot so I guess that's pretty much it.
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#23 of 108 Old 06-19-2003, 12:05 AM
 
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Boy I haven't posted at MDC in a while but I only recently came out to my husband (and to myself I guess) that I am bi. I finally admitted it to myself about a year and a half ago and told him in January after I chewed on the idea for a while. I guess, however, I've always known I was attracted to women even though I tried to rationalize my feelings regularly! It has been a struggle because I wasn't sure at one point if I wanted to leave my husband because I thought I might actually be a lesbian, not bi, but we have worked stuff out and I can't imagine being with any one else. He is wonderful and very supportive of my bisexuality (yes I'm sure I'm bi and not lesbian...but more attracted to women than men, which he knows about). We have other issues to work out in our marriage but my sexual identity is not one of them.

At the present moment, neither of us are inclined to get involved with a third party...polygamy or polyamory...although that appears to be an open ended issue...not at present but who knows what the future holds. I have a crush on someone (a woman) in particular which he knows about but he also knows I won't act on it. I agree that trust and communication are so important when one or both parties are exploring multiple partners. I am feeling more and more comfortable sharing my feelings about it all with him. I have to say overall I've been very lucky with the friends/family I have told. All have been supportive and no one has run screaming away! I'm not fully out but I'm getting there little by little. Nice to be able to share here!
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#24 of 108 Old 06-19-2003, 07:22 PM
 
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My story is really no different than many of the others.

Always knew I was bi, had both male and female lovers til I married dh.

Not too long ago, he said I should find myself a nice woman! I couldn't agree more, but...I think he said it in the heat of passion.

I've been enjoying everyone's stories. Nice to feel part of something rather than alone.
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#25 of 108 Old 06-20-2003, 02:32 PM
 
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Hey Inwe... long time no hear...thanks for sharing!!
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#26 of 108 Old 07-04-2003, 02:19 AM
 
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Hi all.

As a new member, I just wanted to say thanks to you all for this thread/discussion. I won't get into my personal situation as of yet, but it is nice to hear from others out there--especially other "crunchy" moms. It' s good to feel "less alone".
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#27 of 108 Old 07-10-2003, 11:22 AM
 
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I "came out" to my dh as bisexual about a year and a half ago, though I had dropped many, many hints over the years which he chose to ignore. What made it so much harder for him was the fact that I had been unfaithful one time, which I told him about, and that at the time of my coming out, I was completely obssessed with another female friend of mine. Understandably, he felt incredibly threatened by the whole thing.

My dh is completely opposed to the idea of any "openness" in our marriage. I can certainly understand that, especially since he did not know I was bi when we got married so never considered this as part of the "deal." Sometimes I'm fine with that and sometimes I'm not, and we are trying to work it all out thru counseling - but we have come a long, long, way in the last eighteen months. Like another poster mentioned (Hi, Robyn! ), coming out was so overwhelming that for a while I was convinced I was a lesbian and that I couldn't stay married. I became completely cut off from my husband both emotionally and physically. I am so thankful that this has changed, not because the prospect of being lesbian is terrifying, but the idea of giving up the life we have built is. I come from a severely dysfunctional family myself, so giving my daughter a stable family is a fierce goal of mine.

It's so great to hear other people's stories...when I first was going through this I was sure that I was the only person who felt this way. Being bisexual and married is something nobody can understand unless they are in it themselves.
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#28 of 108 Old 07-10-2003, 11:40 AM
 
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Hey LM, glad you decided to join our thread.

It's good you are working this out with your DH. Coming out while already in an established relationship can be hard. For you and your DH. I'm happy that you have acknowledged that outside help can be useful. I hope you both can come to terms with this and deal with it in a way that makes you both happy. Keep us posted!
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#29 of 108 Old 07-16-2003, 02:59 PM
 
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Hi Luna !!! I read your post and I'm still amazed at how similar our stories are...short of a few details. It IS so difficult staring the person you love in the face and telling them you may not be who you thought you were...that was the single hardest thing I had to do in my life. Maybe short of admitting it to myself...well...come to think of it, that was pretty easy by comparison...sigh...

Anyway...you are not alone with your struggles as you know!! Hey...did you finish the books yet???
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#30 of 108 Old 07-16-2003, 03:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by robynberkley
It IS so difficult staring the person you love in the face and telling them you may not be who you thought you were...
This was so tough for me. Discovering the strong feelings I had (and still do) for a woman pretty much blew my world apart. I always knew on some level. But I'd never experienced the feelings so strongly. I began to question everything I'd always thought to be true about myself. : How could I feel these things, so strongly and so real and still love my husband so much. And it wasn't just about sex. It was deeper then that. I think that's what scraed me the most. I'm still haunted by these feelings for this woman. Our world's were too far apart for anything to come of it. I had the hardest time getting over it, and I haven't done that completely yet. Some days thoughts of her just slam into my head leaving me feeling breathless and having an almost physical ache. I don't know what to do with these feelings. And some days I have to literally fight them off.
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